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Torch of the Gods

Ikeda entered the star-shaped open air chamber and focused her eyes upon the device that sat at the center of a raised circular multi-step platform. It was a needle-shaped beacon, as tall as a great oak, with lines that glowed a malevolent purple color racing to the head in a rigid twisting fashion. Hieroglyphs that glowed the same purple as the lines that divided them were etched into the midnight black surface of the beacon, whispering strange truths and temptations to her ears.   The head of the beacon glowed in a luminosity matched only by the sun. It's sickening light touched every corner of the chamber and beyond, a lighthouse of malevolence that towered over the horizon if seen from beyond. Ikeda tried hard not to look straight into the intense light at the beacon's head. She shunted her eyes and put her left hand over the brows of her forehead in an attempt to provide shade for her eyes from the beacon's light.   "Magnificent is it not?" A raspy, weary voice said to her from behind.   Ikeda turned to see an old man with a heavily wrinkled face, garbed in white robes bare of any ornamentation except for a pair of golden bracelets on his wrists. His eyes, in contrast to the aged face he wore, sparkled with unbridled energy and youth yearning to break free of it's mortal shell.   "The beacon, it calls for the gods." The old man told her. He continued, "The tides of the othersea shall give way to the great vessel of the divine and soon it shall dock into our reality like a ship."   His bony fingers was pointed at her. "You, Ikeda Masada, shall be the port of the gods. You are to become our divine avatar." He told her.   Ikeda's eyes grew wide with fear and trepidation of the momentous reality-shattering event to come. She charged at the old man, her hands stretched out to tear the old man to shreds. It came too late as she was pulled by otherworldly energies to the beacon.   A voice whispered to her, it's sound terrible as it was magnificent.   "I am complete!"   Reality broke into tiny fragments of glass around her and she came face to face with a one-eyed being burning in crimson flames. Her mind shattered like a fragile pane of glass, reforged into a vessel; an avatar of divinity; a herald of doom. Ikeda Masada was no more in that single brief moment, lasting only the billionth of a second yet long enough for her that it felt like eternity stretched an infinite amount of times.


In the days before the catastrophe, the Torch of the Gods was used as a lighthouse, serving as a navigational aid for the void ships that prowled the othersea in the days of mankind's golden age. Since the catastrophe, the Torch of the Gods were shut down and hidden, the ancestors rightly fearing the power it held over the othersea.   The Torch of the Gods has the power to be used as a conduit to manifest the othersea into mundane reality, allowing the malevolent intelligences that lurk in other dimensions to manifest themselves in real space.
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The Torch of the Gods has passed from collector to collector, emperor to emperor, warlord to warlord over the course of the ages until it found itself in the hands of a wealthy merchant. Said merchant held a terrible secret, one that compromised the very nature of his humanity, and one that made him keep the Torch of the Gods under the foot of a hidden valley, the very construction of it's holding place whispered to him by the gods themselves.   None knows where the Torch of the Gods except those who worship the Everpresent Pantheon. The artifact is cared for by a secret priesthood whose numbers were bred for the very purpose of taking care of it and generation-by-generation, bring the will of the gods closer to reality.
The Torch of the Gods is a sorcerous technology whose secrets are lost to the peoples of Heia. It is terribly complex, it's very principles rooted in maddening sciences and otherworldly engineering whose basics are unknown and only the insane could even comprehend.
It was on the first day of the week that a pickaxe broke the last layer of rock that surrounded the metallic walls of a great underground keep. The rock shattered like glass from the force of the pickaxe and a large patch of metal was discovered, bits of rock clinging on to the surface. More stoneworkers were sent to uncover more of the metallic surface and within a week, a kilometer of the metallic wall lay naked.   Attempts to break a hole into the metallic wall were met with failure. The sharpest of pickaxes could not pierce the metal, nor could the most potent of explosives. A month had passed since the discovery of the underground keep and little progress had been made to break into the walls of the keep. It was on a particular rainy day that a man came to the mine and offered a way to enter the keep without damaging the walls. The quarry owners listened to the man despite their suspicious and were told that to enter the keep, they must sacrifice a hundred souls to open the gates.   And so they did, a hundred stoneworkers were dragged towards a patch of rocky land and slain, their blood spilling into the ground and sinking deep into the underground. A great rumble was felt that day and half a hill shook and collapsed that day, killing a thousand more that worked in the quarry.   A great gate revealed itself, made from the blackest and most psychically-sensitive of stones, and opened with a knock. The quarry owners quickly organized an expedition into the keep and entered the next few days following the sacrifice. Entering the black gate that was the entrance to the keep, they walked through a vast hallway that showed the glories of a long faded past, the triumphs of mankind along with it's tragedies. At the end of the hallway was a set of marble doors that led to a staircase that spiraled downwards into a seemingly endless abyss.   And so they descended the abyss. At the very bottom they found a torch that lit the path of the gods. On that day, a terrible discovery was made.

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